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How Do I Share Articles and Books with Students?

How Do I Share Articles and Books with Students?

Be sure to check these resources provided by the College Libraries:

Also, check the publisher’s website for possible ways to access their content digitally. Given the current pandemic, some are making resources more readily available.  

How Do I...

Use the resources on the College Libraries website including the New E-Resources site (newly opened resources from publishers). Contact the librarians through chat  (M-F, 9-5) or e-mail ( for suggestions or assistance.



  1. If you got it through the free web, just copy and paste the URL (note: Google Scholar can lead you to things that are not freely available)
  2. If you got it from a publisher, see if they provide directions.
  3. If you got it from a database/vender on the library website, copying the URL at the top of the page WILL NOT WORK.  This is a common problem because it does work temporarily during YOUR session while the database still remembers YOUR search, but it will not work later.  Look for a linking icon from the service, or the word "permalink".  Clicking on this usually opens a box with the URL that you can copy and paste or may automatically do the copying and ask you to paste it somewhere.  These URLs are created with the authentication prefix that will let another user from the same institution get back to where you were.
  4. If the vendor does not supply a link or directions, try to create your own (test it before posting it anywhere - works with some, but not all, venders):

permalink = proxy prefix + content URL

The proxy prefix is


  1. copy the URL to the article/chapter at the top of the page
  2. append the authentication prefix at the beginning
  3. test it in another browser, or anther device, or have someone else test it for you.

HINT: these tend to be big, ugly, long URLs, so send a link, like “this example” and don’t copy and paste the enormous URL because when it’s so long it takes up multiple lines in an e-mail or web posting, it sometimes breaks.

If you can’t create a workable link or download it as a PDF, provide directions instead on how to get there, e.g. Go to the library website and type “name of article” into the quick search box.


Although many venders are opening access now, some still limit either how long a given patron can “check out” and have access to an item or have limits on the number of simultaneous users from a single institution. 

  1. When possible, download the portion/chapter you need as a PDF and post it in Moodle, OR
  2. Provide directions to students on how to get to the item and DON’T CHECK IT OUT but view it for that session only so as to spread out the number of simultaneous users.

When uploading articles/chapters, please follow all copyright laws and guidelines (Linking to an item in the vendor interface is better from the perspective of copyright law than sharing it as a PDF).

Moodle/Teams/OneDrive- Most standard file types can be uploaded and displayed (this includes PDF).

Print Item: The easiest way to convert a print item (or other physical item) is to take a picture with a smartphone, tablet, or webcam. One can also use a scanner to obtain the image file.  The image file can then be downloaded/upload/emailed.



Students can get help with research questions and access to library electronic materials through:

  • e-mail ( Any questions related to library services will be directed to the appropriate person.
  • chat  (24/7 service, with SUNY Potsdam librarians on M-F, 9-5) Assistance with research questions, access to electronic library resources, and citations.  If Potsdam student volume during weekdays overwhelms local librarians, students will still get help from a librarian in the 24/7 service.  Encourage students to put in a Potsdam e-mail as their contact, and a ticket will be generated to which a Potsdam librarian will respond as soon as possible.
  • One-on-one research appointment  A more in-depth, 30-minute appointment scheduled at least a day in advance.  Initial contact is through e-mail, but librarians will work with students individually to figure out the best communication mechanism for them for the appointment.


Physical library materials are not accessible or available at this time – all SUNY libraries (and most others) are closed and circulation, ILL, and resource sharing of physical items is suspended. 


Contact Marianne Hebert by e-mailing and she will help you troubleshoot.  Some venders need to have the back-end access configured even though there may be no charge to do so.  Freely available does not necessarily mean instantly available.


Most textbooks are restricted by publishers, so try these steps:

  1. Check your publisher to see if your title is available in electronic format.  
  2. If it is, determine if they are making content freely available. 
  3. If they are, check to see if there is a link from the New e-resources page (links there have the authentication set up configured for access). 
  4. If it is freely available, but your publisher isn’t linked on the e-resources page, e-mail to get it added.
  5. If it is NOT freely available, e-mail and we will work with you to consider options.